Geographic Proximity between Older Adults and Adult Children in Flanders (Belgium)

Gruijthuijsen, Wesley and Nweke, Chidi and Vanneste, Dominique (2022) Geographic Proximity between Older Adults and Adult Children in Flanders (Belgium). Mobility, Knowledge and Innovation Hubs in Urban and Regional Development. Proceedings of REAL CORP 2022, 27th International Conference on Urban Development, Regional Planning and Information Society. pp. 385-394. ISSN 2521-3938

[img] Text (Geographic Proximity between Older Adults and Adult Children in Flanders (Belgium))
CORP2022_89.pdf - Published Version

Download (276kB)
Official URL:


Most European countries do not only prioritise policies focused on ageing-in-place, but also re-emphasise the role of informal caregiving which, in reality, is mostly provided by children. Thereby it is often overlooked that organising informal care at home gives rise to complicated and multilayered negotiations between people and their home environments. Distance can be seen as one of the decisive factors regarding informal caregiving. At least, international literature suggests that distance between older parents and adult children (still) matters in receiving and providing informal care, which was further highlighted during the pandemic in which some countries forbid non-essential travel outside the neighbourhood (incl. informal caregiving and support). Altogether, not much is known about the geographic proximity between older adults and adult children. We aim to contribute to the discussion regarding the impact of geographic proximity to provide or receive informal care in the context of a policy of ageing-in-place and the socialisation of care. To realise this, we calculate distances between parents (65+, living in Flanders) and adult children (across Belgium) based on the national population register of Belgium, using a cohort study for the period between 2002 and 2017. We researched ways in which physical distances differ across several dimensions, such as the number of children, age, gender and civil status. Although we found that older adults and adult children in Flanders in general live close by, there are signs pointing to an increase in geographical distance over time, potentially challenging the possibility to age-in-place and to negotiate informal care, while a differentiation of the pattern can be recognised according to dimensions mentioned above.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: geographic proximity, informal care, distance, Ageing-in-place, residential movements
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Depositing User: The CORP Team
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2022 18:27
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2022 14:05

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item